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WHENEVER GURDEV Kaur, a Phase 7 resident, buys vegetable from the Apni Mandi, she returns with a bagful — a plastic bagful. Polythene bags were banned around a year and a half ago but it is only too apparent that the Municipal Corporation has failed to enforce the ban. “Yeh to dena padta hai. Kya karen log apne saath bag nahi lekar aate. Hamari bhi majboori hai (We have to give it to our customers. We are compelled to keep these bags because customers do not carry their bags with them),” said Sohan Singh, former president of Rehri Farhi Association.
MC Chief Sanitary Inspector Harwant Singh said he was not aware whether plastic bags are still being used in the city. “I do not get any complaint about the use of plastic. We will see if the plastic is still used in the city,” he said. MC Assistant Commissioner Sarabjeet Singh said 100 challans had been issued to violators of the ban, which was imposed in April last year. He added that he would check with the sanitation branch what action they had taken against the people who were issued the challans. “When our sanitation department employees collect the garbage, they complain about plastic bags in the garbage. We cannot tell the exact quantity of the plastic we collect,” he added.
Congress councillor K S Bedi said he had written many letters to the MC in the last one year to carry out checks at the vegetable markets where the use of plastic bags is rampant. “Plastic bags are not banned anywhere in the city. During meetings with the senior MC officials, the officers had admitted that the plastic use is rampant in the city. They even asked me to give suggestions on how to stop the use of plastic bags,” he said. The Kharar Municipal Council has also banned the use of plastic bags from November 15.